A new way to save on prescription drugs in retirement

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People looking for inexpensive alternatives to expensive prescription drugs have a new, and perhaps unexpected, option: an online pharmacy founded by a billionaire businessman, shark tank star and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Earlier this year, he launched Cost Plus Drugs, a direct-to-consumer website that offers several generic drugs at discounted prices. So who’s eligible, what’s available, and how big are the savings?

Here’s everything you need to know about Cost Plus medications.

How Does Cost Plus Drugs Work?

The website is simple and easy to use. First, go to costplusdrugs.com and search for your prescription drugs. You can search by drug name or by medical condition. The pharmacy stocks hundreds of drugs, and Cuban says more are on the way.

Once you have found your prescription, you can create an account. Next, you will be prompted to contact your doctor or provider with specific instructions for getting your script approved. Once Cost Plus Drugs receives an authorized prescription from your provider, your medications will be shipped to you.

The company says its prices reflect “the true cost” of getting each drug from the manufacturer to customers. The site displays the prices for each drug: the retail price, the Cost Plus Drugs price, and the customer savings. Speaking of savings, these fluctuate depending on the drugs. In some cases, they are important. Other times it’s just a few dollars.

Who founded it and why?

Mark Cuban founded Cost Plus Drugs in partnership with Dr. Alex Oshmyansky. Cuban says he believes every American should have access to safe and affordable medicines. He cites the example of hookworm, a parasite to which disadvantaged populations, in particular, are vulnerable.

“Normally, the prescribed drug for hookworm, albendazole, can cost up to $500 per treatment, which puts it out of reach for a lot of people in need,” Cuban said. “So we started by donating over 10,000 Albendazole tablets to treat parasitic infections in the worst affected areas of the southern United States”

Cuban says he not only wants to dramatically reduce the cost of drugs like Albendazole, but he also wants transparency in drug pricing so customers know they’re getting a fair price.

And where do the drugs at Cost Plus Drugs actually come from? The company partners with Truepill, a pharmaceutical services company, to supply your prescriptions.

What drugs are covered?

For now, Cost Plus Drugs offers dozens of drugs that treat diseases such as diabetes, HIV, cancer, dementia, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.

What drugs Are not Covered?

Customers may be disappointed to find that most drugs are, in fact, not available at this time. However, Cuban says they are constantly working to add more options. Customers can suggest medications and sign up to receive email alerts when new medications are added.

What type of patient would benefit the most?

Anyone using a prescription drug, especially for a chronic condition, would benefit from doing a bit of window shopping on the Cost Plug Drugs website. If (and this is a big if) your medications are available, chances are that Cost Plus Drugs will save you money.

Everything you need to know

Payment for Cost Plus medications (insurance, FSA and HSA)

Be advised, drugs cost more does not accept insurance. Either way, they claim their prices always reflect significant savings, even beyond what you might get from your insurance benefits. (Our advice? Check their math before you take their word for it.)

Pro tip: Even though they don’t accept insurance, you can use your HSA or FSA funds to pay for Cost Plus Drugs prescriptions.

Cost Plus Drugs Pharmaceutical Facility

Soon, Cost Plus Drugs will begin manufacturing its own prescription drugs in-house. The company is building what it calls a “state-of-the-art” pharmaceutical facility in Dallas, Texas, where it plans to manufacture its own low-cost drugs.

Cuban says he wanted to disrupt the pharmaceutical industry with Cost Plus Drugs. Although the selection is now limited, the increased supply and cost transparency are benefits for Americans looking for affordable prescription drugs.

The next time you need to fill a prescription, it’s definitely worth stopping by costplusdrugs.com to see if your medications are available at a discount. After all, who doesn’t benefit from saving a little money? Of course, be sure to discuss your options with your doctor or a trusted healthcare professional first.

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